The Midnight Meat Train – Unrated Director’s Cut (Lionsgate Blu-ray + DVD-Video)
B/B- Sound: B+/B- Extras: C Film: C
for the Meat Train to Nowheresville! I
had serious high hopes for The Midnight
Meat Train, but instead what was delivered to the station was a film that
stunk of death and idiotic plot points.
The trailer was enticing enough; I even love Vinnie Jones; but in the
end the film simply fell flat on its massive face.
ghastly torture porn film stars Bradley Cooper as Leon, a struggling
photographer who wants nothing more than to capture the true essence of a
decaying metropolis. Leon finally gets
his wish when he stumbles onto the path of a serial killer on a late night city
train. Mahogany (Vinnie Jones) is the
aforementioned serial killer who by day works at a meat packing plant; but just
can’t seem to leave his work at the office.
Each scene is filled with gruesome murder after gruesome murder, where
Mahogany strings up the scalped, de-fleshed, beaten, de-tongued, and overall
mutilated remains of his victims on the train’s handrails that substitute for
meat hooks. The film is brilliantly
brutal and full of gore, if that is what you are looking for; but in every other
way the film is atrociously bad. At first
the plot does not seem all that unbelievable, but the film quickly spirals out
of control as it is obviously more focused on blood and guts than on a tangible
plot. There is little suspense as with
each slash Vinnie Jones hacks away at his victims and the plot with little
regard. There are many gross out scenes
outside of the excessive blood splatter that ranges from girlfriends slipping
on eyeballs too others chowing down on flesh; all in all being pure nonsense.
like to delve into more plot details, but let’s be honest; one there is little
plot to discuss and two if you are watching this movie it is for the gore, not
for Vinnie Jones to recite a Shakespearian soliloquy. I would honestly wait for the next train…
wash away the blood and gore the technical features are not all that bad on
this Blu-ray, but the DVD release could use some work. The film is presented in 1080p High
Definition that purposefully embodies an unnatural gritty, dark texture
throughout. The film oddly uses monochromatic
color schemes of steel grays and icy blues to deliver the apparent emptiness
and horror of the midnight train; instead the poor direction ends up being
tired and drab. Besides blues and grays
there are many, many splashes of vivid reds.
The picture overall is nice, never meant to be the cleanest image; but
has a solid clarity. The sound is
aggressive as it is presented in an English 7.1 DTS HD Master Audio that is
crystal clear and extremely fluid. The
dialogue is stupid, the music is not all too great, and the ambient noises are
hardly scary; but boy does it all come through wonderfully! After a monotonous digital massacre with the
film’s image quality, the sound was a nice change of pace as it projected each
slash and scream with serene clarity.
is just a downgraded version of an already visually washed out film. The 2.35 X 1 Widescreen image is not as crisp
or clear as the Blu-ray and even the annoying monotonous blues and grays are
drearily worse. The reds no longer have
the crimson pop and the grittiness seems worse than even intended. The sound is not bad, but after hearing the
DTS HD Master Audio the DVD’s Dolby Digital 5.1 surround is adequate at best.
Blu-ray and DVD extras are essentially unwatchable; mainly because after seeing
the film, no one will stick around for the extras. The special features include a “Clive Barker:
The Man Behind the Myth” feature, “Anatomy of a Murder Scene” featurette,
“Mahogany’s Tale” featurette, Trailers, and finally an Audio Commentary with
Clive Barker and Ryuhei Kitamura. The
only extra worth elaborating on is the audio commentary, which is very candid
and even discusses the film being (pretty much) being dropped right to
DVD/Blu-ray via Lionsgate. The
commentary dances between admirable and sad as the two directors share their
feelings on the ambitious film that certainly did not pan out; but to them it
is horror gold.
would be a definite skip for most, but those of you who can’t seem to get
enough SAW, Hostel, or other gory favorites The Midnight Meat Train may just be your ticket.
- Michael P. Dougherty II